Bone buttons


Older generations still remember the old ordinary bone buttons. They had slightly darkened white colour, rather ecru or one shade darker. The only decoration they had was a thick projecting edge or they were completely smooth. They appeared anywhere – on the old women’s shirts and on the pillow cases, on the coarser cotton shirts and dresses. When children’s suspenders came in fashion, mothers used to make special waistcoats and stitched to them large bone buttons to hold the suspenders. If today one happens to find such a button, it will provoke only nostalgia or chaff, compared to its modern peers.

Opportunities for diversification

Bone is material that tolerates extremely wide variety of processes, such as carving, drawing, engraving or etching. Today these processes are made with laser beam. Other bestselling features are the inscriptions, the designer’s logo, whose work is the garment, etc. The combination of engraving and colour added on the bottom of grooves creates particularly striking effects.
Flaming is one of the most suitable methods for decoration of bone buttons that imparts them vintage or retro style. In fact experts believe that this material is the most favourable one for high temperatures manipulations, because the tones and shades could not be repeated on anything else.
We can manufacture a special batch according to the customer’s project, strictly complying with all your requirements and satisfying even the most sophisticated taste.

The modern old material

During the millennial history of buttons the easily accessible bone buttons were among the most favourite ones, together with the nacre and the horn buttons. This material has always been abundant – especially after people learn to grow animals themselves and meat becomes a regular ingredient in the menu. Its processing was relatively easy, yet it was hard and durable at washing and drying. Although it did not have the brightness of the precious metals and gems, nor even of the nacre shells, it was not expensive and served excellently all its purposes. Sometimes unknown masters with many labour and abstinence have transformed the small pieces of bone into real manuscripts, which are now discovered by the archaeologists and are subject of genuine admiration.

After World War II – in the middle of twentieth century – bone seemed irretrievably obliterated from the list of materials used in the production of buttons. The top positions were taken by the plastics and it seemed that this will last forever.
However, only a few decades later people began to feel nostalgic for the real, natural things and to take serious care for the environment. This brought the organic materials back to live and in combination with the new processing technologies they became a preferred material for art-pieces of buttons.

How to recognize the real bone buttons

Bones have greater density than other natural materials and this makes bone buttons heavier under otherwise identical conditions. When you drop such button on a glass surface, you will hear a sound that resembles the sound of porcelain hitting a glass. This specific property of the raw material makes it more difficult for processing, compared with the other organic materials.

Its natural colour is distinctive. It tolerates well painting. Especially beautiful effects can be achieved when the paint is applied slightly on some points without completely covering the base, which makes its natural beauty even more remarkable.

Use of the bone buttons in the past and today

As it became clear, until fairly recently these buttons were among the most widely available ones; they were simply plain and were used whenever something had to be buttoned and unbuttoned.
Today these buttons have a high decorative value and add to the high class style of various clothes or fabrics. Bone buttons suit perfectly to fabrics of fibres of natural plant or animal origin – wool, linen, and cotton.
Usually they are the preferred choice for outerwear – coats, jackets, raincoats, etc., but appear also on suits and sports waistcoats.
You can use them to break the monotony in your wardrobe and to add a retro look to certain clothes.

These buttons are often used for decorative purposes only. They are also subject of interest to collectors, included in exhibitions and enjoy special attention in the only Button Museum in Italy.

If the plastic and artificial materials are not to your taste, if you like stability, security, and persistency, then classic bone buttons are your best choice. They will give style and completeness to your garments.

See also: corozo buttons; polyester buttons; shell buttons; horn buttonsimitation horn buttons.